SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – The New Mexico Tourism Department said Friday that employment in the leisure and hospitality sector suffered the largest percent decrease out of all sectors in the state. This is according to the department’s analysis of employment trends through 2020.

According to a news release, leisure and hospitality saw a 30% decrease in 2020 from 2019. Natural resources and mining, including the oil and gas workforce, witness the second largest year-over-year (YOY) decrease with 28%.

The economic impact to the leisure and hospitality industry in the state was reportedly more severe than the national average, which recorded a decrease of 23%. The impact was also greater for New Mexico than neighboring states Arizona, Colorado, and Utah.

On Feb. 9, 2021, House Bill 267, which would provide $30 million for a tourism industry career advancement program, was introduced to the House of Representatives. The bill also includes $8 million for an even revitalization program and $7 million to support tourism business retention and expansion.

HB 267 will be heard by the House Commerce and Economic Development Committee on Saturday, Feb. 13. Read the full bill below: